Juvenile Law

What is Juvenile Crime?

Juvenile crime involves any crime that is committed by a child (often referred to as a “juvenile”) who is under the age of 18. The main goal of the juvenile justice system is rehabilitation rather than punishment.

Juvenile crime is called an act of “delinquency” and requires court intervention to correct the delinquency. Juvenile courts have their own special rules and procedures. If a child or teenager is found guilty of a juvenile law crime, he or she may be sent to a reform school or another public institution, placed in a foster home or returned to the parents and placed on probation or house arrest.

Courts and prosecutors may be quick to label someone a juvenile delinquent. While there are many differences between juvenile court and the criminal courts adults face, it is still important to protect the rights of the accused by retaining an attorney. Juvenile crime covers the same crimes that adults are accused of. We defend minors in cases of DUI, sex offenses, drug offenses, violent crime, theft offenses, Arson offenses and more. Whether a minor is facing charges of drug possession, robbery, rape, or murder, we have the trial experience and the knowledge to defend them.

What Rights does My Child have in Juvenile Court?

Your child has very similar rights as adults with some exceptions. Your child has to obey his or her parents, attend school, and obey all laws. Your child is not entitled to bail or a jury trial. All trials are done by a juvenile judge acting in the role of jurors.

What are the Consequences for Juvenile Crimes?

The consequences for juvenile crimes will depend on the seriousness of the crime and the background of the offender. The consequences include fines, treatment programs, detention, house arrest (electronic monitoring), formal/informal probation, community service, and incarceration.

Can My Child Be Tried As Adult?

You may believe that because your child is young, he or she cannot be punished with “adult” sentences such as jail or prison. This is no longer true. If your child is accused of certain crimes, he or she can be charged, convicted and sentenced as an adult even if he or she is very young. This is usually true of violent offense or serious felonies, but it may apply to other crimes as well depending on the circumstances.

Are My Child’s Records Sealed after They Turn 18?

Juvenile records are not automatically sealed after you turn 18.

There are two mechanisms available with which to seal a juvenile record. The first is called expungement. An expungement of a record can be requested if the juvenile is not found delinquent or unruly of the offense for which they are charged, based upon the complaint filed. There is no cost for filing a request for expungement. The second is called “seal” of record. A person may request that records be sealed two (2) years after the final court order in a case. There is a cost for filing for seal of record, plus any outstanding court costs. There are certain felony offenses that cannot be sealed.

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